Spanish MA

Brecht GERMAN4060

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Modern Languages and Cultures
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

In this course we will study major plays and poems by Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), one of the major European dramatists of the twentieth century. We will trace the development of his writings from his anarchic Expressionist beginnings via his Marxist conversion and the work of his antifascist exile years to the late works written in the newly founded German Democratic Republic. This will provide insights into Brecht's view of language as a means of ideological persuasion.


20 x 1 hour sessions over both semesters as scheduled in MyCampus.


This is one of the honours options in SMLC and may not run every year. The options which are running this session are available on MyCampus

Excluded Courses





Essay (2000 words) - 50%

Essay (2000 words) - 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ use Brecht's works to help students reflect upon their own lives as mediated by categories such as gender and class, and as confronted by competing ideological discourses and pressures to perform;

■ provide insight into Brecht's resilience and survival skills in the first half of the twentieth century;

■ develop student skills in literary analysis at an advanced level;

■ apply a number of interdisciplinary perspectives (historical, rhetorical, political, sociological, economic, gender studies).

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ analyse language as a creative construction and as a means of ideological persuasion;

■ formulate their own critical arguments through their assessed work;

■ write critically about rhetorical devices (such as the Verfremdungseffekt) in Brecht's dramatic and poetic texts;

■ engage effectively with debates in critical theory and secondary literature.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.